LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Studio City and Santa Clarita are among the Los Angeles County communities with the highest new COVID-19 infection rates, this despite having high vaccination rates.
Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health, reported Thursday that those communities were among the 10 highest areas in the county for new coronavirus infections for the two-week period that ended Nov. 6.
Lancaster and Palmdale topped the list.
Of the 10 communities that had the highest rate of new cases, seven had vaccination rates that exceed the countywide rate, according to DPH.
Ferrer said officials are studying the data to determine what is driving higher case rates in those communities, but she insisted the numbers don't mean vaccines aren't effective. She said current figures show unvaccinated people are nine times more likely than vaccinated people to get infected, and 67 times more likely to be hospitalized.
Lancaster and Palmdale have below-average rates of fully vaccinated residents, at 58% and 66%, respectively.
Studio City, with the third-highest new case rate, has a 79% vaccination rate, and Santa Clarita, placing fourth on the list, has a 75% vaccine rate.
The countywide number of fully vaccinated residents is 73%.
Of the other communities on the top 10 list of highest new-case rates, only Willowbrook, at 62%, falls below the countywide vaccination rate.
She said a variety of factors could be at play in different communities, among them the possibility that some areas had large numbers of people who were never previously infected with COVID-19 and remain unvaccinated, leading to higher current infection numbers.
"That certainly is possible, although we have to look at more data to draw that conclusion," Ferrer said.
The county reported another 26 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, raising the overall virus-related death toll to 26,949. Another 1,088 cases were reported, giving the county a cumulative pandemic total of 1,515,324.
The rolling average daily rate of people testing positive for the virus in the county was 1.1% as of Thursday.
Ferrer said 82% of county residents aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine, and 73% are fully vaccinated.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)
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